Two more characters get TV show posters released for Fox‘s Gotham. In the lead up to the Gotham pilot & network schedule debut (Fox having committed the show to series almost from day one), a series of posters, each spotlighting a key character from both the central & supporting cast, has begun to roll out. Next up: Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), Wayne family butler, and personal manservant/ guardian to newly orphaned Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz).
Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth Gotham
About Alfred Pennyworth:
Created by writers Bob Kane and Bill Finger, with artist Jerry Robinson, Alfred Pennyworth first appeared in Batman #16 (April–May 1943). Alfred serves as Bruce Wayne’s tireless valet, assistant, butler, confidant, friend, and surrogate father figure. In modern interpretations, this has gone to the point where Alfred was Bruce’s legal guardian following the death of his parents. He has sometimes been called “Batman’s batman.” Alfred also provides comic relief, as his sometimes sarcastic and cynical attitude often adds humor to dialogue occurring between himself and Batman. Alfred is a vital part of the Batman mythos, and appears in most other media adaptations of the character.
A highly intelligent and resourceful man, Alfred runs the day-to-day operations of Wayne Manor and maintains much of the equipment of the Batcave beneath it. A former actor, he can use his acting and disguise skills to help Batman in the field when necessary, and is even capable of impersonating Bruce Wayne on the telephone convincingly. He has also provided first aid up to and including suturing wounds and removing bullets, as well as occasional tactical support. He is also able to perform arthroscopy and other advanced medical procedures, thus limiting, if not eliminating, the need for hospital medical treatment even in the face of grievous injuries. Nevertheless, Batman still requires professional medical treatment when Bane breaks his back (Batman: Knightfall) and Hush’s machinations result in his suffering a skull fracture (Batman: Hush). On these occasions, Alfred admits that his own skills are inadequate for such medical procedures.
While not as skilled at martial arts as Bruce Wayne, Alfred is still nearly as resourceful. In one story in which he is kidnapped, he readily escapes and overcomes his captors without disturbing the cut of his suit. It was later mentioned that he had been kidnapped unsuccessfully 27 times (it should be noted, however, that these events take place in the Gotham Adventures comics, based on the animated adventures of Batman, and not within the standard DCU continuity). During Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, Ubu, Ra’s al Ghul’s musclebound bodyguard, attempts to use Alfred as a hostage, only to be disabled by a well timed sucker punch from Alfred.
Presumably due to his lack of superpowers, the advanced combat training Bruce’s other associates have, and Alfred’s age, Alfred is the only member of the “Batman Family” that Bruce does not mind using a firearm, in his case favoring a shotgun when dealing with direct attacks on his person.
In the 1960s TV series Batman, Alfred is portrayed as skilled in swordsmanship and archery. He also impersonates Batman in scenes where Batman and Bruce Wayne have to be seen together.
Current issues of the various Batman comics seem to indicate that Alfred is a pioneer in and has also mastered several fields of rose breeding (even creating his own, the “Pennyworth Blue”), computer programming, computer engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, nanotechnology, and biotechnology as he singlehandedly builds, programs, and maintains much of Batman’s next-generational technology such as the Batcomputer.
In the Christopher Nolan film series, Alfred is a veteran of the British Army’s elite Special Air Service, having served in the Malayan Emergency, Oman, Aden, Burma and Northern Ireland.
Also getting the poster treatment: Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), the name behind the character better known as The Penguin.
Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot Gotham
About Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin:
Introduced in Detective Comics #58 (December 1941), by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas. Known as one of Batman’s oldest and most persistent enemies, he is a mobster and thief, and fancies himself as being a “gentleman of crime.” His nightclub business provides a cover for criminal activity, which Batman sometimes uses as a source of criminal underworld information. According to Kane the character was inspired from the then advertising mascot of Kool cigarettes – a penguin with a top hat and cane. Finger thought the image of high-society gentlemen in tuxedos was reminiscent of emperor penguins.
Unlike most of Batman’s rogues gallery, the Penguin is in control of his actions and perfectly sane, features that help him maintain a unique relationship with the crime-fighter. His latest characterization has him running a nightclub that is popular with the underworld. Batman comes to tolerate his operations so long as the Penguin remains one of his informants. The entrepreneurial Penguin often fences stolen property or arranges early prison furloughs – for a hefty fee, of course.
Born Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, the Penguin was bullied as a child for his short stature, weight, and beak-like nose. In some media, his fingers are fused, resulting in flipper-like hands. Several stories relate that he was forced as a child to always carry an umbrella by his overprotective mother due to his father’s death from pneumonia after a drenching. His mother owns pet birds that Cobblepot lavishes with attention, and served as his only friends growing up. His love for birds would eventually lead him to obtaining an Ornithology major in college. In some versions, Cobblepot turns to crime after his mother dies and the birds are repossessed to pay his mother’s debts; in others, he is an outcast in his high society family and their rejection drives him to become a criminal. In keeping with his origins, the Penguin pursues his criminal career with class. He prefers formal wear such as a top hat, monocle, and tuxedo while he steals.
The Penguin’s alias first came from a childhood taunt over his grotesque appearance and love of birds. In an early account, when Cobblepot first attempted to join a gang, he was belittled as a “penguin” and mocked for his umbrella before being literally kicked from the crime den. Outraged at the rejection, he resolved to make “the Penguin” a name to fear and the umbrella a fearsome weapon. He returned to the den and killed the crime boss with “the world’s first .45 caliber umbrella,” then claimed leadership of the now-terrified criminals. Some later stories suggest that he tried to abandon the nickname, which he initially hated but came to accept.
The Penguin is a master criminal strategist and occasional engineer who uses his genius-level intellect to gain wealth and power through criminal means. Driven by self-interest and an inferiority complex, the Penguin relies on cunning, wit, and intimidation to exploit his surroundings for profit. He usually plans crimes, but does not often commit them himself as it makes tracing the crimes back to him much more difficult and acting for himself risks exposing his respectable businessman persona to the general public. Although the dirty work is mostly delegated to his henchmen, he is not above taking aggressive and lethal actions on his own, especially when provoked. In spite of his appearance, he is a dangerous hand-to-hand fighter with enough self-taught skills in Judo and Fisticuffs to overwhelm attackers many times his size and physical bearing. Cobblepot is usually portrayed as a capable physical combatant when he feels the situation calls for it, but his level of skill, like the Joker himself, varies widely depending on the author and as a result the character has been written both as a physical match for Batman and as someone the masked vigilante is capable of defeating with a solid punch and anywhere in between. His crimes often revolve around the stealing of valuable bird-related items and his car and other vehicles often have an avian theme.
The Penguin always carries an umbrella due to his mother’s obsessive demands. The umbrellas usually contain weapons such as machine guns, sword tips, missiles, lasers, flame-throwers, and acid or poison gas spraying devices. He often carries an umbrella that can transform its canopy into a series of spinning blades. This can be used as a mini helicopter or as an offensive weapon; he often uses this to escape a threatening situation. Another umbrella has a spiral pattern on the top with which he can hypnotize enemies.
This brings the tally to three, after the previous release of a poster for Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), the future Catwoman.
Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle Gotham
Gotham promises to go into the formative years of its more iconic characters, meaning less of a rogues gallery approach, for the likes of Cobblepot or Kyle, than an intricately detailed origin tale for each, over the course of seasons (no word on Jack Napier, though).
Gotham will also feature Zabryna Guevara as Captain Essen, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, and is scheduled to join Fox Television’s 2014 Fall schedule.
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